Attorney says Medicare Very Limited for Long Term Care

Some people think Medicare, which is the health insurance for those 65 and over will cover Long Term Health Care costs. In fact, it pays very little. For those under 65, normal health insurance also pays very little.

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Attorney says Medicare Very Limited for Long Term Care
2 Min Read July 1st, 2015
James Kelly

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

BY: Bo Bingham

Nursing home care can be very expensive, being some estimates suggest it can cost $50,000 or more annually.

People often ask, “If I end up in a nursing home, how will I pay for it?”

Medicarecan help to offset nursing home costs but Medicareis a limited and temporary solution. Among other limitations, Medicaremay entail expensive deductibles and will only pay for up to 100 days of care. Supplemental Medicarecoverage may help to offset the costs.

Another good option can be Long-Term Care insurance. Unfortunately, few people have long -term care insurance.

Medicaid can sometimes be a source of funding for nursing home care. Whether you qualify for Medicaid depends on what you have. If you have too much money or too many assets, you won’t qualify. However, some assets are “exempt” and aren’t considered in determining whether you qualify.

Generally, the largest and most common “exempt” asset is your home as long as it is your primary residence. Other exempt assets include things like furniture, jewelry, and a vehicle.

But cash (above $2,000), liquid and semi-liquid assets (stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, etc.) and other assets (second homes, etc.) are often disqualify a person for Medicaid. In an effort to qualify, some people pay off their home (an exempt asset) by cashing out non-exempt, liquid assets.

Others make gifts of non-exempt assets during their lifetime. However, this should be done with extreme care since assets cannot be legally “gifted” with the intent to avoid a debt to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid can even look back in time and disqualify a person who made an improper transfer in order to qualify for Medicaid. In some situations, Medicaid can even pursue recovery from the estate of a person who improperly qualified for and received Medicaid benefits. Therefore, any gifting should be done with guidance and well before a person faces the prospect of entering a nursing home.

In short, because everyone may need nursing home care at some point, planning for it in advance and knowing the rules is better than facing a crisis later.

Bo Bingham lives in Mesquite and is an attorney with Bingham Snow & Caldwell. He is licensed to practice in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. He can be reached at 702-346-7300,, or 840 Pinnacle Court, Suite 202 in Mesquite.

This article originally appeared on The Spectrum

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

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